In Honor Of Will Ferrell: The Five Biggest "Summer Blockbuster" Duds
That thud you heard last weekend was Will Ferrell's career settling noisily back to earth. With a budget estimated at over $100 million, Land of the Lost was supposed to propagate the 2009 summer blockbuster season (handily inaugurated by the new Star Trek) and continue Ferrell's successful box-office run.
Surprisingly, American audiences seem to have tired of well-meaning doofuses who run into things and holler a lot, even when you throw in a T-rex. Ferrell, however, can assuage his hurt feelings with the millions of dollars already stuffing his California king mattress, and the knowledge that plenty of other would-be summer blockbusters didn't quite meet financial expectations either.
5. Stealth (2005)
Domestic Gross: $31,704,416
Stealth proves the old adage that there's no movie so bad that it can't be made worse by an expensive explosion sequence and nu-metal sountrack. Jamie Foxx, who won the Academy Award for Ray a year earlier, can at least commiserate with Renée Zellweger and Halle Berry about their post-Oscar career choices.
4. Catwoman (2004)
Domestic Gross: $40,202,379
Speaking of Halle Berry, she may want to consider sticking to ensemble superhero movies from here on out. Already the weakest link in the X-Men films, she actually played chicken with the 20th Century Fox over getting Storm more screen time...and won. To celebrate, she went on to make a Catwoman movie with no connection to the Batman universe where the titular character dresses like an extra from a Winger video.
3. Battlefield Earth (2000)
Domestic Gross: $21,471,685
It can certainly be argued that no one was expecting a filmed adaptaion of L. Ron Hubbard's thoroughly ludicrous sci-fi "epic" to break the bank. Scientologists, apparently, felt they'd done their part in buying multiple copies of the book (the better to deceive various bestseller lists) that they didn't have to pursue similar tactics at theaters. Books can be shelved unread, after all; buying a ticket means you might actually have to sit through two hours of a dreadlocked Travolta shrieking about "man animals."
2. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
Domestic Gross: $48,608,066
It's impossible to ignore the laugh value of this Keanu-less sequel, especially when seeing all the comedy movie shout-outs in this scene, where the ill-fated ship cruises inexorably out of control into the harbor. I personally spotted Al Czervik's runaway yacht from Caddyshack, the finale of Airplane, and the boat jump in Live and Let Die.
1. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
Domestic Budget: $4,411,102
How often does Eddie Murphy dream longingly about the years 1982 to 1988 -- when his résumé listed movies like Beverly Hills Cop and Trading Places -- only to wake up to the horrible reality that is the last 20 years? Does he call Steve Martin to commiserate? And should vast amounts of government funding be set aside to research this descent into suckitude that seems to afflict all comedic actors? Will Ferrell may depend on it.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.